Balmoral setting the standard

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Scottish Sporting Gazette

HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has collected a coveted award on behalf of Balmoral Estate to recognise the estate's exceptional work on game and wildlife management.

Wildlife Estates Scotland accreditation is an internationally recognised award given to farms and estates that have demonstrated a standard of excellence in land management.

In order to gain accreditation, estates have to apply and then adhere to a rigorous set of standards that encourages wildlife conservation and biodiversity through careful species and habitat management.

Balmoral is now one of over 20 farms and estates to have achieved accreditation in Scotland. Traditionally managed for red deer stalking, grouse shooting and salmon fishing, the estate also contains important SPA and SAC designations which form a key part and responsibility of overall management. The assessors noted Balmoral's very specific attention to monitoring and implementation of best practice.

The WES initiative was developed from a European Union scheme to drive forward higher standards of conservation and environmental stewardship. WES was championed by Scottish Land & Estates with support from Scottish Natural Heritage, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Scotland and the Cairngorms National Park Authority. Development has also been supported by the Scottish Government, and is closely aligned with its ongoing Land Use Strategy.

Richard Gledson, Balmoral's resident factor, said: ?We are delighted that the estate has been awarded WES accreditation. It marks the culmination of a long process to ensure Balmoral meets the high standards of the scheme and I am very pleased on behalf of everyone on the Estate who has worked hard to apply best practice in game and wildlife conservation.?

?That process will continue apace with the full support of the Royal Family, who are thrilled by this award. We look forward to working with Wildlife Estates Scotland to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to accreditation and hope we can play our part in promoting the objectives of the scheme to other estates across the country.?

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